Asylum decisions & appeals
After you make an application for asylum, the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) will review your case.
If your application is successful, the Minister for Justice and Equality will make a declaration that you are entitled to protection as a refugee. If not, you can appeal the decision.
If the decision is positive
If the decision for your asylum application is positive, you can live and work in Ireland.
If you have been living in direct provision accommodation, the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) can help you to make the transition to independent living.
- Download 'Your guide to living independently' (PDF 1.1MB)
- This guide is also available in Arabic, Farsi, French, Pashtu and Urdu
If the decision is negative
If the decision about your application is negative, you will be given the reasons why including any material used to make the decision.
If you wish, you can appeal the decision (see below).
If you do not appeal or if your appeal fails and there is no other reason why you should be allowed stay, you will have to leave Ireland.
- If you leave voluntarily, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) may be able to help you return home.
- If you do not leave voluntarily, a deportation order will be issued.
The Repatriation Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) will arrange for you to leave Ireland. Read a longer description of how repatriation works.
Appeal a negative decision
In most cases, you will have 15 working days to submit an appeal to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal (RAT).
You can request an oral hearing as part of your appeal, which means you can present your case to RAT in person. An interpreter will be provided if necessary.
You should also provide RAT with any additional documents or evidence you think will help your case.
Note: In some circumstances you must submit an appeal within 10 working days. If these circumstances apply to you, your appeal will be decided without an oral hearing.
You also have the right to legal assistance from the Legal Aid Board (LAB). LAB can help with your appeal and also attend RAT hearings, if required.
If you appeal, you can continue to stay in your accommodation with RIA.
Note: If you do not attend the oral hearing and do not provide an explanation within 3 working days, your appeal may be refused.
If your appeal is successful
If your appeal is successful, the original negative decision will be reversed and you will be given protection as a refugee.
If your appeal is unsuccessful
If your appeal is unsuccessful you will be contacted by RAT and the original negative decision will remain in place.
You will be advised that you can apply for Subsidiary Protection status, if you have not already done so. (You can also apply for Subsidiary Protection at the same time as applying for asylum as a refugee.)
The application process for Subsidiary Protection generally follows the same steps as the process for asylum.
If the decision on your application is positive, the Minister for Justice and Equality will grant you Subsidiary Protection status and you will be allowed to stay in Ireland.
If the decision is negative, you can appeal the decision to RAT. The appeals process for Subsidiary Protection generally follows the same steps as the appeals process described above.
If your appeal is successful, the original decision will be overturned and you will be granted Subsidiary Protection status. You will then be permitted to remain in Ireland.
Leave to Remain
If you do not qualify for refugee or subsidiary protection status you may make representations to the Minister of Justice and Equality to explain why you should be allowed to stay in Ireland.
This is commonly referred to Leave to Remain.
You will have 15 working days from the date you receive a negative decision about asylum or Subsidiary Protection to make a submission for Leave to Remain.
Leave to Remain is an administrative procedure and permission is granted at the discretion of the Minister usually on humanitarian grounds. There is no oral hearing.
You may request the High Court to review any decisions made in relation to your asylum or Subsidiary Protection application in a process called judicial review.
A judicial review may be started if you think ORAC or RAT:
- Interpreted the law incorrectly
- Did not apply the correct law
- Did not follow correct procedures
- Had no evidence to support its decision
Note: A judicial review is usually a last step because of the cost and time involved.
If you have withdrawn your application for asylum, you cannot appeal and you must leave Ireland.
If your application has been judged to be withdrawn (eg because you did not attend an interview and did not explain why) and there is no other reason why you should be allowed stay, you will have to leave Ireland.